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Flutter at Bhindranwale’s death anniversary

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Chowk Mehta, June 12

There was a flutter at the function held here to commemorate the death anniversary of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale when Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Akali Dal (Amritsar) today alleged that the Intelligence Bureau had made deep inroads into the Damdami Taksal after Operation Bluestar.

Mr Mann alleged that certain senior functionaries of the taksal had been misguiding Baba Thakur Singh for keeping a suspense over the death of Sant Bhindranwale for more than two decades for vested interests.

This was for the first time that Damdami Taksal has organised a function to commemorate the death anniversary of the Sant. The then acting Jathedar of the Taksal, Baba Thakur Singh, had been claiming that Sant Bhindranwale was in “high spirits†and would take over the charge of Taksal at an appropriate time.

In yet another sensational revelation, Mr Mann admitted that he used to give liberal licences of weapons to Sant Bhindranwale when he was the SSP Faridkot.

Addressing a function, Mr Mann said Baba Thakur Singh was a ‘real saint’ but certain “agents†of the Intelligence Bureau within the Taksal surrounded him. He said the former Joint Director of IB had mentioned the “dubious role†of certain office-bearers of the Taksal in his much-talked about book ‘Open Secrets’.

There was a little commotion at the stage when Mr Mann virtually snubbed Bhai Mohkam Singh, spokesman of Damdami Taksal, and Mr Rajinder Singh Mehta, pro-Badal member of the SGPC, from the stage. He also criticised Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, for his alleged “anti-Panthic†activities.

However, the Jathedar of Akal Takht and the SGPC chief skipped today’s function. Earlier, the two — Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and Bibi Jagir Kaur, respectively — had given recognition to Baba Ram Singh, chief of the parallel jatha of Damdami Taksal. Mr Badal, too, was conspicuous by his absence.

However, some SGPC members belonging to the Badal faction, including Mr Mehta, Mr Jaswinder Singh Advocate and Mr Kashmir Singh, were present on the occasion.

The police had made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident. Mr Mann, against whom three cases of sedition were registered, was not arrested.

One of the resolutions passed on the occasion appealed to all Sikh bodies to come on a single platform for ensuring the release of Sikh youths languishing in various jails of the country.

Later, Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma was formally declared successor of Sant Bhindranwale. Representatives of various Sikh bodies, including the Sant Samaj, presented ‘dastars’ (turbans) as a mark of their acceptance of Baba Dhumma as 16th Jathedar of the Taksal.

The SGPC member, Mr Rajinder Singh Mehta, described Sant Bhindranwale as the towering leader of the community.

Among those present on the occasion were Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, President, SAD (Longowal), Mr Satnam Singh of the Youth Federation, USA, Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, Bhai Karnail Singh Pir Mohammad, Bhai Ajaib Singh Abhiasi, Mr Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Capt Harcharn Singh Rode and Bhai Ram Singh.

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